After narrowly overcoming Sunderland last weekend and strolling to a 5-0 victory in Bucharest in mid-week, Manchester City are back in action on Saturday lunchtime when they travel to the newly renamed Bet365 Stadium to face Stoke City.
Pep Guardiola is set to face what will undoubtedly be his biggest test as Blues’ boss so far and, as this handy infographic courtesy of Premier League stats aficionados KickOff illustrates, the Potteries hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for City in recent years.
However, City’s overall record against Stoke makes for much more encouraging reading and Guardiola and his players will perhaps take heart from the fact that the last time the two sides met, the Blues ran out 4-0 winners at the Etihad in April.
Following their 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough last weekend, Mark Hughes’ Potters will be hoping to pick up their first three points of the season in their first home game, while Pep Guardiola will be hoping to improve upon his side’s mediocre away form under Manuel Pellegrini last season at the first time of asking.
City just have the edge on their opponents in terms of their respective form over the last 10 Premier League matches, but this fixture is a very tough one to call, coming as it does so early in the season.
Predicted City line-up: Caballero, Zabaleta, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Silva, De Bruyne, Nolito, Sterling, Agüero
Player to watch: Sergio Agüero
Scored a hat-trick in mid-week despite missing two penalties. The Argentine is in red hot form and looks sharp and hungry. If Messrs Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling and Nolito can create half as many chances for him as they did on Tuesday, you’d bet your house on him to take at least one of them.
Prediction: Stoke City 1-3 Manchester City
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